News Release Information


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Further information:

Occupational Employment and Wages in Baton Rouge, May 2012

Workers in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.50 in May 2012, about 11 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 2 of the 22 major occupational groups, including production, while eighteen groups had significantly lower wages including computer and mathematical, business and financial operations, and sales and related.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction; installation, maintenance, and repair; and protective service. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and education, training, and library. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Baton Rouge United States Baton Rouge Percent

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $19.50 * -11


4.9 4.4 * 52.20 45.12 * -14

Business and financial operations

4.9 3.8 * 33.44 26.21 * -22

Computer and mathematical

2.7 1.5 * 38.55 28.62 * -26

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.5 * 37.98 38.88 2

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.9 32.87 28.57 * -13

Community and social service

1.4 1.2 * 21.27 20.83 -2


0.8 0.7 47.39 41.61 * -12

Education, training, and library

6.4 5.4 * 24.62 22.31 * -9

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.0 * 26.20 21.64 * -17

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.0 35.35 29.58 * -16

Healthcare support

3.0 2.8 13.36 11.22 * -16

Protective service

2.5 3.3 * 20.70 17.29 * -16

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 8.4 * 10.28 9.32 * -9

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.0 * 12.34 10.17 * -18

Personal care and service

2.9 3.0 11.80 10.06 * -15

Sales and related

10.6 10.5 18.26 15.17 * -17

Office and administrative support

16.4 16.0 16.54 14.82 * -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 11.65 15.55 * 33

Construction and extraction

3.8 8.0 * 21.61 18.38 * -15

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.0 * 21.09 20.22 * -4


6.6 5.9 * 16.59 22.94 * 38

Transportation and material moving

6.7 6.4 16.15 15.25 * -6

* The percent share of employment or mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Baton Rouge is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

One occupational group–construction and extraction–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Baton Rouge had 29,090 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 8.0 percent of local area employment, more than double the 3.8-percent national share. However, the average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.38, 15 percent below the national wage of $21.61.

With employment of 5,630, construction laborers was the largest occupation within the construction and extraction group, followed by carpenters (3,270) and first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (2,490). Among the higher paying jobs were first line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers with mean hourly wages of $27.08 per hour and plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters at $21.94 per hour. At the lower end of the wage scale were carpenters’ helpers ($12.61) and construction laborers ($12.99). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, carpenters’ helpers were employed at 5.0 times the national rate in Baton Rouge, and pile-driver operators, at 19.6 times the U.S. average. Baton Rouge’s pile-driver operator location quotient ranked fourth highest among all metropolitan areas in the country. On the other hand, paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators had a location quotient of 0.9 in Baton Rouge, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Lousiana Workforce Commission.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,215 establishments with a response rate of 69 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

Area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes in Lousiana.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the
BLS website at Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon
request – Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation,
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
Hourly Annual(4)

Construction and extraction occupations

29,090 2.1 $18.38 $38,220

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

2,490 2.0 27.08 56,330


280 5.7 23.11 48,070


3,270 2.1 19.10 39,720

Tile and marble setters

60 0.8 14.46 30,070

Cement masons and concrete finishers

530 1.4 18.36 38,180

Construction laborers

5,630 2.5 12.99 27,030

Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators

140 0.9 15.34 31,900

Pile-driver operators

210 19.6 21.11 43,910

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

1,930 2.1 18.77 39,040

Drywall and ceiling tile installers

160 0.8 16.79 34,930


2,350 1.6 22.32 46,420


(5) (5) 17.41 36,220

Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

(5) (5) 21.92 45,600

Insulation workers, mechanical

(5) (5) 18.36 38,190

Painters, construction and maintenance

1,550 3.0 15.74 32,730


150 1.2 13.91 28,940

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

2,370 2.5 21.94 45,630

Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

130 3.1 20.86 43,390


140 0.5 16.32 33,940

Sheet metal workers

230 0.6 20.11 41,840

Structural iron and steel workers

690 4.4 17.18 35,740

Helpers-brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters

(5) (5) 14.60 30,360


500 5.0 12.61 26,230


530 3.2 13.06 27,170

Helpers-pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

1,020 7.9 14.86 30,910


(5) (5) 11.46 23,850

Helpers, construction trades, all other

210 3.6 11.11 23,120

Construction and building inspectors

190 0.8 23.49 48,860

Hazardous materials removal workers

(5) (5) 16.96 35,280

Highway maintenance workers

140 0.4 14.91 31,010

Roustabouts, oil and gas

310 1.9 15.94 33,150

Extraction workers, all other

130 5.2 16.30 33,900

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Baton Rouge MSA, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a 'year-round, full-time' hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not available.


Last Modified Date: June 26, 2013